I’m not waving, I’m drowning, and why punt rhymes with banker, once more

by Maria on November 11, 2013

Actually, that’s an unnecessarily coarse title for this post, which is a pointer to a thoughtful, timely and by all accounts superbly executed play about bankers’ role in Ireland’s financial crisis. Journalist documentary-maker Colin Murphy (full disclosure, an old and dear friend) has written a play called ‘Guaranteed. It tries to get to the heart of what the *%$%ing £$%! happened in 2008, using official documents and interviews with insiders. Let’s just say it’s a little more insightful than Michael Lewis’ back of the taxi/fag packet journalism, and goes gratifyingly against the official grain.

‘Guaranteed’ is in Waterford tonight, Dun Laoghaire on Tuesday and Wednesday, then around the country till the 29th.

A palate cleanser afterward might be Colm McCarthy’s recent piece in the Indo, marking the triumvirate of ECB/IMF/EC and their involvement in Ireland’s forced bail-out out of 10. You may be surprised by who scored highest.



Zamfir 11.11.13 at 5:29 pm

Not surprised, but still good to be reminded of. I am no expert, but I got the impression that the IMF was rather shaken by the backlash against them in the late 2000s, and had improved themselves internally. Which suggests that antiglobalists protests actually work :-)

And the IMF might have felt as working at home, as opposed to taking the tough line in the colonies as usual. While the European institutions, ironically, seem to consider Ireland and the Med as needing the Tough Treatment For Their Own Good.


Hob 11.11.13 at 8:36 pm

I was in Ireland a few months ago when the audio transcripts from Anglo Irish Bank had just come to light, in which John Bowe admitted that the numbers they had used to solicit a government bailout had been “picked out of my arse.” There was understandably almost unanimous anger about this; the only people happy about it, I think, were headline writers who were able to deploy cheeky quotation marks as follows: Irish banker pulls bailout figure from “arse”.


Tim Wilkinson 11.12.13 at 12:16 am

See also the Eye’s ‘Nursery Times’ headline Leprechauns Find Crock of Shit at End of Rainbow.

(As it’s fairy-tale-based satire – and well-constructed‡ – they earn a pass on the leprechaun reference, notwithstanding that the organ in question all too often manifests bongo-bongo-land-ism at a pitch worthy of co-alumnus B. Johnson.)

‡ Not sure this is relevant – it doesn’t rescue Bernard Manning, for example.

Always good to see the Goscinny (or is it Uderzo?) style of redaction – tho strictly that’s not redaction but purely formal suggestiveness – like the funniest (the not unfunny) kind of sexual innuendo: that which can’t finally be resolved into any determinate second meaning, yet somehow still bears an unmistakably ribald connotation…


Helen 11.12.13 at 12:53 am

I hope someone puts that on in Australia – it sounds very worth seeing.


John Quiggin 11.12.13 at 3:02 am

I agreed with the rankings, except that he scores Draghi a bit higher than I would.


Colin Murphy 11.12.13 at 11:56 am

In relation to Hob’s comment, I have to say that I was rather happy about John Bowe’s comment as well… We already had the scene where David Drumm went to the Regulator (and then the Central Bank Governor) seeking €7 billion in emergency liquidity. A slight amendment gave the regulator the line in reply: “Is that a precise figure, David. Where did you get it from?” To which, of course, the audience replied in silent chorus.

Our further Dublin dates are Smock Alley on Nov 22 & 23 and the Civic, Tallaght, on Nov 26 & 27, with other locations inbetween. Thanks to Maria for her support.


dsquared 11.12.13 at 8:41 pm

I more or less agree with the ratings in that article, but can’t help feeling that if international institutions were given the right of reply, they might have a few marks out of ten to give to various Irish institutions, and the opinion columns of the Sunday Independent couldn’t expect to score highly. It’s still always with the view that the sole purpose that Euroland should have in mind was the avoidance of any consequences for one of the richest economies in Europe from its own property crash, and that the prevention of a massive financial collapse was in some way a dishonourable and unworthy objective for Germany to have.


Ronan(rf) 11.14.13 at 2:42 pm

Yeah, the Sunday Indo (and I’d argue anyone who works for them) really arent in any position to be taken seriously on anything.
This is pretty representative of their position up until late 2008 (and since then tbh, but in a more ‘subtle’ form).


They’re hostility towards Germany since then has been equally iditoic.

Having said that, and changing subject, why is it that the IMF had a change of heart vis a vis debt repayments since the earlier debt crises (or have they) ?

Has there been a genuine evolution of policy within the organisation? Is it the differences of the politics within the IMF for these crises (the US was less concerned with getting debt repayed to it’s banks) ? Or the geopolitics involved, the European institutions could play the bad guys which gave the IMF more space to offer alternatives (see also Zamfir’s argument that rich European countries get different treatement on account of being rich European countries) ?

Or something else?

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